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VIC Maurice Blackburn/Australian Riders' Division of MA SMIDSY Letter to Terry Mulder, Minister for Tran

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Maurice Blackburn, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Good Morning Netrider,

    Below is a letter John Voyage of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers together with Rob Smith of the Australian Riders' Division have written to Transport Minister Terry Mulder.

    In it we congratulate him on his recent intervention on behalf of cyclists, explain why motorists need greater awareness of motorcyclists, and invite him to learn more about the SMIDSY issue.

    Having encouraged drivers to put themselves in cyclists shoes the Hon Terry Mulder appears to be on the side of Vulnerable Road Users.

    We're confident a man of his calibre will give motorcyclists and SMIDSY the attention they and it deserve.

    14 Feb 2012

    The Hon Terry Mulder, MP
    Minister of Transport
    GPO Box 2797

    Dear Mr Mulder

    Re: Motorists need greater awareness of motorcyclists

    Your timely intervention on behalf of cyclists together with the Road User or Abuser initiative is to be congratulated and didn't go unnoticed by motorcyclists across the state who face similar struggles on the roads.

    With this is mind we wish to bring to your attention a growing groundswell of concern occurring around a common acronym in motorcycling circles - SMIDSY - meaning “Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You.”

    Unfortunately this overused “get out of jail free” phrase is one that thousands of Vulnerable Road Users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians hear time and time again when they are injured by inattentive drivers.

    Motorcyclists feel this fallacy is perpetuated through road safety bodies committing considerable time, energy and money to suggesting motorcyclists are largely responsible for their own deaths and injuries. A recent example is the TAC advertisement that clearly sanctioned the SMIDSY premise by using as its catch phrase “Motorcyclists, it’s up to you.”

    The Road User or Abuser campaign would be very different if the catchphrase were “Cyclists, it’s up to you.”

    In every other area of road safety, and in the recent Road User or Abuser initiative, the onus is clearly on shared responsibility - except it appears when it comes to motorcyclists.

    The fact that little has been done to revamp driver training and licensing or adjust road safety advertising for four wheeled road users to address the specific problem of SMIDSY has alienated the motorcycling community.

    This has undeniably coloured with cynicism their reception of MUARC's recently publicised $1.3 million motorcycle safety research project - primarily because they feel it largely ignores driver awareness.

    Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has learned a great deal from listening to riders' experiences and has set up a popular social networking page in Victoria for the Stop SMIDSY campaign (www.facebook.com/stopsmidsy).

    Given this, we have created an opportunity for you to meet with some victims of SMIDSY together with select Victorian motorcycling representatives. We can also arrange a pillion seat with an expert rider to better understand what it feels like to be a motorcyclist in Victoria in 2012.

    This could be structured into a media opportunity if you desired, however the primary aim of the opportunity would be to encourage and facilitate the development of:
    • A second phase of the Road User - Abuser campaign; and
    • Discuss the formation of a government initiated Vulnerable Road Users Council

    We will contact your office in the coming days to answer any questions you may have and to discuss a time that may be convenient for you.

    Yours faithfully

    John Voyage

    Rob Smith
    Australian Riders’ Division
    Motorcycling Australia

    We hope you can get behind this effort and I'll keep you posted as to how the Minister chooses to engage with Victoria's motorcyclists.


    • Like Like x 43
  2. *a CALL TO ARMS*

    A quick thankyou to Maurice Blackburn for their efforts on our behalf. Cheers fellas.

    It's time for us to get active again and put our virtual pens to paper. MB have moved the SMIDSY issue into the political arena now and it's up to us to throw our support behind them to make sure it stays there.

    How do we do this? Simple.

    Write your emails to the Minister Mulder stating that you have read the letter sent by MB regarding this very important issue and you wish for them to give it the attention it deserves.

    BE POLITE. Stay on topic. Stay on point. Use their correct titles because it makes them feel important. Use the MB letter as a shining example of diplomacy, but write it in your own words.

    I ask one more favour of you, well two actually...

    Please post up a copy of your letter as it encourages others to participate. You wont be judged or taken to task so be confident.

    The other thing is, if you have access to other forums or social outlets please SHARE and encourage others to do the same. The more of us that get behind this the better it works.

    Lastly and FYI. This is just another step in a long running campaign so we'll take our victories where we can get them, the next phase will be dependant upon the response we get from the Honourable Minister. So I hope he starts paying attention.

    Here's some stats you may want to draw to the Minister's attention if you're into that kind of thing...

    Here are the contact details.
    The Hon Terry Mulder MP - Minister for Public Transport and Minister for Roads

    Peter Greenwood (his Chief of Staff)

    03 9095 4330

    Please be sure to use the appropriate titles. Please feel free to call them after you have sent your email to ensure they have received it and reiterate your concern for the matter to be given their full attention.

    Have fun now ;)
  3. Man, that's was like watching an expert sushi chef at work. So skillfully executed that I am in awe.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. As you can see the STOP SMIDSY page on Facebook is a valuable tool in our arsenal. It's currently sitting on 791 supporters with 70 people actively using the page.

    We have more people than that visiting this site daily. It's important that the Facebook page is both shared and used. It drives it up the rankings in Facebook searches, and it let's people such as the Minister be aware that this issue has wide spread support in the community. I encourage you to use it. No I do not care if you're not on Facebook, so don't bother mentioning it. Thanks.
  5. I have shared this on Aussie Street Bikes :)
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Thankyou brother.
  7. Can something like the above get into the mainstream press? TV?
  8. Is this OK?

    16th February, 2012

    The Hon Terry Mulder, MP
    Minister of Transport
    GPO Box 2797

    Dear Sir,

    It has come to my attention that you have received correspondence from Mr John Voyage of Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, and Mr Rob Brown of Australian Riders’ Division, Motorcycling Australia re the prevalence of one of the most dangerous phenomena experienced by motorcyclists – the SMIDSY, or “Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You. I have read the letter, and wish to convey to you my support of their actions in approaching you about this matter.

    So far, I have had the good fortune (or plain luck) to avoid sustaining injury due to the lack of attention displayed by other road users, however the close calls have certainly been frightening.

    Others have not been as fortunate as I. The current motorcycle toll stands at 6, and whilst we do not yet have all the facts, it would appear that SMIDSY may have been a factor in most.

    A concerted effort by the Ministry of Transport to address this very real issue would, I believe, go a long way in reinstating the respect of motorcyclists who, for too long, have felt that the blame for their deaths and injuries has been left at their door, and their door only. Recent TAC campaigns have done nothing to dispel this idea, and, to the motorcyclist, the “Motorcyclists, it’s up to you” slogan actively perpetuates it in the minds of other road users.

    Of course, not only motorcycles are affected by SMIDSY, and any measures developed to assist in reducing the risk for motorcycles will naturally have a flow on effect to bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

    Therefore, please allow me to strongly request you take up the offer of Messrs Voyage and Brown and permit them to present our case to you. I believe they represent my opinion, and I am confident that both the Ministry and motorcyclists stand to gain much by working together to address this issue.

    Yours Sincerely,
  9. Looking good mate; one thing though, it's Rob SMITH, not Brown.
  10. Wow, how the heck did I do that?

    Anyway, I haven't sent it yet, so all fixable.

  11. Good grief girl, that is awesome! Thankyou and well done.
  12. Is it possible to have the letter posted on your Facebook page so it can be shared further afield than Netrider?
    It will also give Daniel something to do while he's frothing at the mouth for action.

    Each time somebody interacts with your Facebook page it bumps it up the rankings, both inside Facebook as well as Google. The search term 'stop smidsy' currently sees your page ranked 4th on Google. Good work :)
  13. Got the chaps working on it at the moment - should be another half hour at the most.
  14. Sweeeet.
  15. Sorted - it's now up.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Looking at this thread, I think Mr Walshe has left the door open to be 'enlightened' about SMIDSY.
    Wonder which newspaper he reads?
  17. Posted up/shared on the GSX650F forum now.

    • Like Like x 1
  18. Cheers Al.
  19. *BUMP*

    Don't forget to write your letters of support folks. It's more important than arguing on the internet.

    And the MB letter is now posted on the SMIDSY page linked above so you can share it with your non-NR friends.

    Today's Friday, take the time to knock out a quick letter and send it through. Or if you're really pressed for time the alternative is to phone the office on the number listed above and express your support that way.

    • Like Like x 1
  20. Just incase it wasn't clear, this is based in Victoria, but you could send your local ministers of transport or roads an email supporting a similar thing in your state.

    Anyway, for the Victorians, in addition to the chief of staff, I think it would make sense to cc the Shadow minister for transport: luke.donnellan@parliament.vic.gov.au and your local members which you can find here: http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/members/

    Would it be worth cc'ing the ministers for police?